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Samar lady solon awards deserving servicemen, hails them for heroism

Planet Hollywood hotel to host Pacquiao vs. Valero title fight

Gov. Petilla speeds through typhoon-hit coastal barangays to distribute relief goods, calamity financial aid

Power in region 8 now fully restored, TransCo says

Frank leaves province P5M damages, Eastern Samar in state of calamity

Samar’s mussel industry threatened

Pacific Friendship 2008 visits Gandara

Samar solon sponsors surgical mission with UST Medicine Class of 1964

8th ID releases P147,600 for Balik-Baril Program

Mass surrender of NPA supporters in Eastern Samar


Leyte victorious in its bid to host 2009 Palarong Pambansa

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 27, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte is victorious in its bid to host the next Palarong Pambansa, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla informed through Provincial Administrator Vince Emnas.

Leyte governor carlos jericho petilla
Leyte Gov. Icot Petilla

The decision was reached on July 25, at the Department of Education Central Office where all the contending bidders, Capiz, Dumaguete and Leyte, were present.

Vice-Governor Mimyet Bagulaya said that Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla ably made the presentation for the Province of Leyte, before the panel composed of the 16 Regional Directors of DepEd.

The Governor was accompanied by Vice-Governor Mimyet Bagulaya and the entire membership of the Provincial Board.

Giving the much needed moral support were Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado, Samar Governor Mila Tan, Congressman Carmen Cari of the third District of Leyte and PAGCOR Vice President Remedios L. Petilla.

The Department of Education Region 8 officials were also there headed by Director Sol F. Matugas, Leyte Division Superintendent Sol Lumarda, and all the Division Supervisors.

Governor Petilla has made pronouncements that he would rather look at the hosting of the 2009 Palarong Pambansa as a unifying activity that will solidify not only the partnership among local government units in the province of Leyte but that of the entire Region 8.

The Governor said he would rather give the hosting a different color, that of the rare opportunity to promote the province of Leyte and Eastern Visayas as a whole.

To reinforce its bid and show its sincerity in hosting the next Palaro, the Province of Leyte through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has appropriated the amount of P50 Million to be used for the improvement, rehabilitation and repair of the sports facilities at the Leyte Sport Complex and various sports and school facilities, where athletes would be billeted.

“We are willing to spend millions of pesos because we would like to promote the province and the entire Region 8 and in the process gain more economic activity, Governor Petilla earlier said.

After witnessing the games up close in Puerto Princesa City and how the country’s “Summer Tourism Capital” organized and hosted the multi-sports event, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Victor Domingo urged the local government units in the region to work together to vie for the hosting of the next Palarong Pambansa.

Secretary Domingo talked to Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla to bid for the hosting of the Palaro, as a province, since among the province’s property is the Leyte Sports Complex, formerly the BR Sports Complex and better known as the Leyte Grandstand, which can accommodate most of the track and field sports that are very important competitions in a national sporting event.

The Governor immediately gave a positive response to the idea saying the provincial government can allot money to improve the place especially for its track and field course.

Secretary Domingo believed that it is about time the Region place host again to the Palaro especially because the last time the Region hosted the national sports event was in 1983.

Besides, the Eastern Visayas’ provinces have the capacity to host more or less 10,000 athletes, coaches, chaperons and delegation officials who will attend the national games for both the elementary and secondary levels.

Earlier, Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza has expressed the Province’s intention to provide support to whichever Eastern Visayas province that would be declared as host.





DND Secretary graces 20th anniversary of the 8th Infantry Division

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 27, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The presence of Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr., will highlight the anniversary of the 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division on August 1, 2008.

8ID commanding general Arthur Tabaquero
BGen. Arthur Tabaquero

Brigadier General Arthur Tabaquero, commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Division based at Camp General Vicente R. Lukban, Catbalogan City, said that Sec. Teodoro will be the guest of honor and Speaker at the Program which will commemorate the 20th year of dedicated and committed service to the country and its people, particularly the people of Eastern Visayas and parts of Central Visayas.

Brigadier General Tabaquero said that for the momentous occasion, the Division embraces the theme “Team 8ID, 20-Taong Kabalikat sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran.”

The theme underscores the 8ID’s long standing partnership with various sectors of society for the attainment of peace and development in its area of responsibility.

The officers, men and women of the 8th Infantry Division has invited partners for peace and development to grace the 20th founding anniversary celebration which will start at 9:00 o’clock in the morning, Brigadier General Tabaquero added.

The 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division, Philippine Army traces its roots from the 8th Infantry Brigade (Separate) of the Philippine Army which was organized pursuant to General Orders Nr 123, GHQ, AFP dated 26 May 1986.

The Brigade was first based in Brgy Santol, San Miguel, Leyte and its AOR covered the whole of Eastern Visayas of Region 8 composed of six (6) provinces, three (3) of which are in Samar Island, two (2) in Leyte and one (1) in Biliran Province.

The 8th Infantry Brigade (Separate), Philippine Army drew its personnel and equipage from the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, Philippine Army. It was initially composed of two (2) Tactical Brigades, the 1/8 Infantry Brigade and the 2/5 Infantry Brigade with six (6) Battalions (19th, 20th, 34th, 43rd, 52nd and 56th).

With Samar Island as the center of gravity and for better command and control, the 8th Infantry Brigade (Separate) transferred its headquarters from Brgy Santol, San Miguel, Leyte to Camp Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan, Samar on October 17, 1987.

Brigadier General Tabaquero is the 18th in the lineage of Commanders of the 8th Infantry Division. The first was Brigadier General Isagani delos Santos who was the commander from May 26, 1986 to March 31, 1988.

The other commanders were Brigadier General Federico Ruiz,Jr, Brigadier General Romulo Yap, Brigadier General Ruperto Ambil, Brigadier General Danilo Olay, Brigadier General Romeo Tarrayo, Major General Arturo Carrillo, Major General Rufo De Veyra, Major General Glenn Rabonza, Brigadier General Bonifacio Ramos, Mayor General Jovito Palparan Jr., the comebacking Brigadier General Bonifacio Ramos, Brigadier General Randy Dauz, Major General Rodrigo Maclang, Major General Armando Cunanan, and Brigadier General Allan Ragpala.





Southern Leyte solon distributes more computer sets to elementary schools

By ERNA SY GORNE (PIA Southern Leyte)
July 27, 2008

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  Representative Roger G. Mercado personally turned-over to the school heads 24 sets of computers to selected elementary schools from Maasin City down to Pana-on Island at the Provincial Capitol, Province of Southern Leyte last Monday, July 21.

A yearly undertaking of the lone representative, who also said that making available of said high tech communication equipment could be one of the means in the fight against poverty in the countryside.

The recipients of the computers were as follows, namely, Alternative Learning Schools, Pansaan Elementary School, Lib-og Elementary School, Tomoy-tomoy Elementary School, San Isidro Elementary School, Nonok Sur Elementary School, Hanginan Multi-Grade School, Hinau Daku elementary School, Bato I Elementary School, Dongon National High School, Matin-ao Elementary School, Tawid Elementary School, Manhilo Elementary School, Tam-is Elementary School, Hinapu Gamay Elementary School, Divisoria Elementary School-Bontoc, Pintuyan National High School, Libas National High School (Sogod), Brgy. Magbagakay Elementary School (San Juan), San Isidro Elementary School (Tomas Oppus) and Hingatunggan Elementary School (Silago), and the Office of the Provincial Governor.

As of press time, Representative Mercado has already distributed over a hundred of computers sets to different schools, offices and non-government organizations in the province.

While, Maasin City Division Assistant Superintendent Purita Loy noted that the computers received by the schools is in line with the vision of DepEd top officials for nationwide cyber education in the near future.

Together with the local officials from the Provincial Government, Maasin City Mayor Maloney Samaco and DepEd Maasin City Division Assistant Superintendent Purita Loy witnessed the distribution of computer sets to the recipients.





143 carabao deaths reported in 2 East Samar towns

By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern Samar)
July 24, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Farmers in Arteche and Oras towns this province are now alarmed about the occurrence of the disease resembling Hemorrhagic Septicemia which apparently caused the deaths of some 143 carabaos.

Prompted by the alarming condition, Provincial Veterinarian, Nilo Mondonedo, reported that his office conducted immediately a series of Animal Health Missions in the rural barangays of the two towns on June 1 to July 4 where they gathered the aforesaid data.  Also, their study revealed that some 231 farm animals were infected by the bacteria. But he also disclosed that 116 had been vaccinated and 213 of the animals had been treated.

In a separate interview, Dr. Norma Ylanan, Vet IV of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian  confirmed that the bacteria is slowly being contained today, which is attributed to the activation of the Municipal  Quick Response Team headed by the municipal mayors.  She said that the team conducted close monitoring and immediate reporting of any case; aslo they tracked the occurrence of the disease and most importantly they conducted treatment and prophylaxis; they also instituted quarantine measures especially on the movement of animals and the emergency procurement of antibiotics and other veterinary medicines.

Asked if the bacteria is imported just like the Brontispa in coconut trees, Ylanan said, the bacteria is endemic in the carabaos; meaning, it is already existing in them and when their resistance lowers, the bacteria feasts in the system of the farm animal until it is defeated and dies unless treatment is done at once.

“The bacteria is highly contagious,” Ylanan added. “It is easily transferred to the next carabao through the liquid discharges (mucus, urine, etc).  That is why, we monitor and approve before a carabao is butchered because even the blood can carry the bacteria and inflict other animals.  We even banned temporarily the slaughter of carabaos for the health and safety of the people,” the lady Vetmed concluded.





DENR 8’s LAMP 2 conducts massive land titling activities in 3 Leyte towns

July 24, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Consistent with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s poverty reduction program, constituents from the three municipalities of Hilongos, Hindang and Matalom all in Leyte can now avail of the titling services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 8 under Phase 2 of its Land Administration and Management Project (LAMP) implementation.

Land titling activity in Leyte
Ramon S. Unay, Regional Technical Director of the Land Management Service DENR 8 exhorts constituents to file their land title applications at the base camps.

A grand launching for this titling service was recently conducted through a motorcade around the three municipalities and a program held at the Hilongos municipal gymnasium.  Participants in the launching activity include the barangay and municipal officials as well as the police and traffic enforcers of the 3 municipalities, Visayas State University in Baybay, media, PENRO Leyte and CENRO Baybay personnel as well as the work force of the three Base Camps under LAMP 2.

The mayors of the three municipalities as well as the office of Congresswoman Carmen L. Cari who sent in their representatives pledged support and cooperation to the titling services.

Hon. SB Member Armando Pulache who represented Hilongos Mayor Panfilo Go lauded the titling program of the DENR-LAMP 2.  “This is a great help to our constituents.  A lot of money, time and effort will be saved because they will no longer go to a far DENR office to apply and acquire land title”, he said.

DENR’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer for Leyte, Hernani de los Reyes informed the constituents that under LAMP I, the titling services has been implemented in selected six municipalities in Leyte.  Under LAMP 2, the titling services are now extended to the entire province of Leyte.  PENRO de los Reyes also thanked the financial and technical support of the World Bank and the Australian Agency for International Development which was represented during the launching program by Technical Adviser, Team Leader Ian Lloyd.

DENR 8’s Regional Technical Director Ramon S. Unay of the Land Management Service exhorted the constituents to take advantage of the presence of the base camps in their respective municipalities.  “These base camps will be transferred to other municipalities after six months to one year operation depending on the availability of potential lots for titling.  We have also to extend the same services to the other municipalities.  This is actually bringing the titling services of the DENR closer to the people, so you should visit these Base Camps and file your title applications starting now.” RTD Unay said.

DENR 8’s Regional Executive Director Alfredo S. Pascual is encouraging all qualified land occupants in the region to avail of its land titling services. “Having titles to your land will not only provide you lifetime tenure security over you parcels of land, but also give you peace of mind and focus on making your land productive because you will no longer have the fear that your land will be taken away from you,” RED Pascual stressed.

Under LAMP Phase 2, three (3) base camps were established in each of the three municipalities in Matalom, Hilongos and Hindang.  The Matalom Base Camp is headed by Ms. Eva Pasagui; Hilongos Base Camp is headed by Ms. Marilou Abocot; and the Hindang Base Camp is headed by Ms. Grace Grovoso.

In 2007, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Leyte yielded the most number of Patent issuances as a result of the Land Administration and Management Program (LAMP) implementation in the province. Under the LAMP, 7,806 Free Patents were issued covering an area of 4,684 hectares in different Leyte towns in CY 2007.





Spend more in areas which have been proven to be rice productive, PGMA says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 24, 2008

The RDC 8 meeting in Calbayog City with PGMATACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The government would rather spend more for the rehabilitation and upgrading of irrigation in areas where rice productivity have already been proven, the President said during the recently-held meeting with the members of the Regional Development Council in Region 8.

President Arroyo was commenting on the proposed irrigation projects for the island of Samar.

The provinces in the Leyte Island have produced more rice than they need. They actually feed the people of the Samar Islands, the President said.

The best thing to do is to improve and rehabilitate the irrigation facilities in the island of Leyte so that it will produce more rice; rather than spending much for the construction of irrigation facilities in Samar which has not been tested for its rice productivity.

There are areas in Samar like the Catubig Valley which is now being developed by the government, the President said, what must be done is to see to it that the production of such areas must be maximized.

The P1.00 spent in Leyte might become P1.80 when spent in Samar, the President said to underscore her thrust of maximizing the use of government funds.

Besides, it is impossible to make all areas produce rice or become rice sufficient, the President added.

President Arroyo’s remarks were her reaction to the comment that very small portion of Samar is irrigated compared to the big percentage of irrigated agricultural lands in the island of Leyte.

The President commended Region 8 for achieving 14.3 percent increase in its rice production, the highest in all the Regions of the country, in 2007.





PGMA signifies her desire to inaugurate the Calbayog-Lope de Vega-Catarman road

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 22, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed her desire to inaugurate and traverse the already completed Calbayog-Lope de Vega-Catarman Road.

Map of the Calbayog-Lope de Vega-Catarman road section
The Calbayog-Lope de Vega-Catarman road section is shown in red.

During the recently held meeting with the members of the Regional Development Council in Eastern Visayas, President Arroyo said that she wanted to navigate the said road section by car. The said road section cut the travel time to Catarman from Calbayog to one-and-a-half hours instead of the usual three hours drive (via Allen).

The President nixed the prioritization of the proposed rehabilitation of the Calbayog-Allen-Catarman Road saying that the newly constructed Calbayog-Lope de Vega-Catarman Road must instead be used.

The President said she would rather spend the funding for the rural roads, addressing the interior towns, rather than on two main roads. This does not mean however, that the Allen Catarman road will not be rehabilitated, the President said, only, it will not be prioritized.

The President also assured Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza that the government will not take the money away from Northern Samar which is one of the poorest provinces in the Region, only the funding will be used for more important projects which are the recommendations of the province.

Funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Catarman-Lope de Vega Road project hopes to promote economic growth in the area by providing access to the centers of agriculture, industrial, fishing, commercial and tourism activities in the area.

The Project also hopes to provide faster, cheaper and more comfortable and reliable transport services and facilities within the areas to be served by the road.





SONA pronouncements on education subsidies delivered

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
July 22, 2008

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  The Department of Education’s schools division in this city and the province have gotten their respective shares of financial subsidies intended for students entering secondary education in private schools.

Mr. Thomas Navarette, the one in-charge of the said DepEd subsidy program in the provincial schools division confirmed that the thirteen (13) private institutions of learning under his coverage have had a number of students enrolled under this kind of education assistance by the national government.

He, however, could not cite specific figures, saying the schools have not yet submitted a report in this regard, and there are times the reporting will be directly made to higher DepEd offices.

The subsidies were provided in Republic Act 8545, which covers, among others, the Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (EGASTPE), Navarette informed.

This has three major components: the education service contract (ESC) for those coming from elementary to high school, either private or public; the tuition fee subsidy (TFS), from private elementary to private high school; and the education voucher system (EVS), from public or private elementary schools to private high schools.

Navarette said that of the three components, the EVS began only last year, and its implementation has been selective for those disaster-prone areas, except Saint Bernard, which has already enjoyed quite a number of assistance.

For the schools division of Southern Leyte, EVS was implemented in three towns, namely, Hinunangan, Libagon, and Sogod, Navarette added.

At the city schools division, Susanita Lavina, the program in-charge, said some 40 EVS slots had been allotted for the current school year, distributed to two private schools, the College of Maasin (CM) and Saint Joseph College (SJC), although there was no data yet on particular number per school as no information was yet submitted.

Under the EVS scheme, every student is entitled to P5,000 annual tuition subsidy, so if the private school concerned offered a lower or higher amount than the one given, then the parents either would get the balance or pay the remainder, whichever the case, Lavina said.

As to the ESC, Lavina said there would be no way of knowing how many had availed, since this assistance has been directly given from the DepEd national office to the private school.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year, 2007, had stressed that “we will give more high school scholarships”.

And true to that SONA statement, some 563,906 students around the country were given financial subsidies, broken down as follows: 475,560 for education service contracting, and 88,346 for educational vouchers.

A fraction of that huge number has been felt in the province and the city, a clear manifestation that last year’s SONA was on track and was delivered.



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